Nearly 4,000 jobs, many of which are in California, along with airport construction projects around the country are on hold as a funding stalemate continues in congress over the Federal Aviation Administration.
A partial shutdown of the FAA is expected to continue into September as senators disagree on subsidies for commercial air service to rural airports and federal rules on labor elections in the industry.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., initially told reporters that he would be willing to accept a House Republican bill to restore the FAA's operating authority even though it contained cuts in subsidies for rural air service that some Democrats oppose. But he later reversed course after a possible deal with House Republicans had fallen through.
The FAA's operating authority expired on July 23, as well as the authority of airlines to collect about $30 million a day in ticket taxes, meaning the government will be unable to collect an estimated $1.2 billion in taxes if the shutdown continues until lawmakers return to work next month.
Dozens of stop-work orders were issued last week for modernization and improvement projects. Air traffic controllers have remained on the job, as well as FAA employees who inspect the safety of planes and test pilots.
About $131.5 million in construction projects at airports across the state are affected including a $14-million control tower in Palm Springs and $31-million control tower Oakland, according to the FAA's website.
Projects at LAX would not be immediately impacted by the crisis because Los Angeles World Airports have already paid up-front project costs with $3 billion in bond money sold over the last three years. But the suspension of the FAA will mean delays in LAWA getting reimbursed for some developments that FAA has committed to pay for.
"It would be good to get this thing resolved,'' said LAWA spokesman Michael Collins last week. "It's not a life-or-death matter for airports like LAX, but it's hugely important for average-size airports.''
Passenger safety has not been affected, F.A.A. officials said. Air traffic controllers and their supervisors are paid out of separate funds and have continued to work.
In a statement last week, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa urged congress to act fast to avoid job losses.
"Our airports are not only our most important resources for moving goods and people, they are critical to creating jobs and putting Americans back to work," Villaraigosa said.